"That we wither our breasts. Our lovely bellies."

More Perihelion:

Bob Sward's Writer's Friendship Series

Book Reviews

Need to Know



Issue 13: Free Form

Issue 12: The Necessary Ear

Issue 11: The Necessary Eye

Issue 10: Out on a Limb

Issue 9: The Missing Body

Issue 8: The Lily

Issue 7: Passages

Issue 6: No More Tears

B.E. Petronelli

For Love

Take that we starve ourselves.
That the starving is purging us of our unworthiness.

That the wasting away is chiseling away our ugliness.
That there are parts of us best discarded with other shameful waste:

the soft curved belly, the generous nurturing hip, the ample thigh, the plump
nippled tit. Take that we cannibalize ourselves

for its stingiest scraps. Accusing, taunting, pointing the finger,
throwing names at our reflections: Disgusting. Cow. Hog.

That we wither our breasts. Our lovely bellies. That we pare ourselves
to cheekbones, hipbones, the jutting collarbone that say we have atoned

for being more. The sunken, hollow eye–exquisite, rimmed
with its own anemic kohl. Properly chastised for tempting. Delicate purple-blue

blood just beneath the skin. We are sweet plum bruises dying for love,
for it wasn't our fault.